INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Giro di Sicilia

Pozzovivo (3rd) gains confidence after first GC battle


The second stage of the Tour of Sicily (2.1) ended in the first GC battle between the contenders for the victory on the final climb towards Caltanissetta, which was divided in two parts. Once the last survivor of the early breakaway of nine riders was caught with 8 kilometer to go, several riders accelerated in the peloton on the first part of the climb (5.4km at 5%).

On large roads and confronted with the wind, the breakaway attempts failed one by one, while the climbers of the Belgian World Team maintained their position in front of the peloton. Louis Meintjes, Georg Zimmermann and Domenico Pozzovivo, who was hindered by a crash, were among the thirty riders descending together towards the final kilometer (5.2%).

At the end of this explosive final, Pozzovivo took third place behind Damiano Caruso and Vincenzo Nibali. The 39 year old climber is also third in the provisional general classification after this second stage. South-African climber Louis Meintjes is currently twelfth after today’s fourteenth place.

« We planned one month after Tirreno-Adriatico to prepare my next competition period with for example the Tour of Sicily and the Ardennes classics. I’m happy that after a couple of years with travel restrictions I could return to my traditional training camps. After a couple of days of rest I travelled to Tenerife to train on the Teide volcano and I continued this training camp in Italy at an altitude of 3200 meter afterwards. I immediately felt the benefits of it here on the opening day in Sicily. The first flat stage was a good warm up for us climbers before making the first differences in the general classification today. My third place gives me a lot of confidence for the queen stage on the Etna. But before we have to cover an explosive stage in which we will probably again sprint with a reduced group unless a breakaway receives freedom from the peloton. I’m very motivated to get the most out of this Tour! »

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